Looking for objective, clear insight

DH is off his med's for the next 4 weeks before deciding what they will do at that point (new med/same meds/no meds?). The counseling sessions will be all about him only for him until he decides otherwise. 

DH has been withdrawn from me (specifically) chooses when to interact with the kids (usually only if they will do something that he is interested in). 

DH is still having his outbursts - we have tried to ignore them, we have tried to calmly address them, and we have tried to make light of it - nothing works.  The best I can say is that the kids seem to realize that its just "dad" and not that they have or haven't done something to set him off.

Well the newest is our daily meetings - DH has been dragging his feet on these for weeks now.  At first, choosing to just skip them all together, then he moved on to "falling asleep" during the meeting and then the newest is - "do you want to meet? Cause I don't have anything to talk about".  Now he refuses to speak directly to me and will not be in the same room together - sometimes this could be a good thing.

I tell him how much the kids and I love him and want to help - how we want to be a family, but he doesn't seem to hear it. There is no response from him.  Normally his reply to anything he is asked is "I don't know".   

So last night during our talk I asked him how he was feelings (just fine); asked if there was anything bothering him (no); asked he to fill me in on what is happening with work, his life, anything that he'd like to share - no reply.  So I mentioned to him that he has been withdrawn the last few days - why?  His reply: what's so terrible about if I don't want to talk to someone?  And that I'm tired of everyone poking and prodding at me; asking me what I feel- So what if I feel quiet and want to be by myself? What's so terrible about that?  My reply: Everyone is concerned and we are just trying to help and some progress. And I didn't say that it was terrible to be quiet; but it sure is hurtful and lonely to those around you.  His reply - dead silence.   end of meeting.

So this is the point that I am at: DH has cut off all communication with me (except to yell or have an outburst), we share no initimacy (which really, how could we when I don't feel close enough to him), we rarely share a bed (he chooses to sleep in the guest room, on the couch, in the basement), and we are moving around each other rather than with each other. 

I feel that I am approaching a crossroad here:  I won't go on living this way; feeling so alone, emotionally exhausted (do I stay or go?, the cold shoulder treatment and having the lion's share of raising the kids) from dealing with him and his stuff, but I do still love him (God help me) and I don't want to break up my family.   

Yes, I am working on myself, I have made a lot of progress - we made progress when he was on meds and in counseling ect.  Maybe that is what I am holding out for?  But another month before any decision is made on the meds - Im not sure I can hold on that long.

Anyone have any sugessions?  Also, I feel that I need to protect myself (my husband has a 4 yr degree and is employed (and makes a comfortable living - while I do not have a degree or certificate and have working on and off for the last 3 years as admin asst since I was a stay at home mom for 6 years prior to that) is contacting a divorce lawyer the way to start finding out what my options are?  Or are there other resources to try first (as far as custody, child support, how to handle debt, ect)?

I truely do not want to divorce - but I feel that in working on myself this is the next step (protecting myself and kids finanacially).

Any thoughts????

Protecting yourself...

I was at a point like yourself where I felt that I needed to explore my options.  I did seek out the advice of a divorce lawyer, and honestly, it was very helpful.  I actually left the meeting feeling uplifted...despite the fact that I did not want a divorce.  After the meeting, I knew my options and what I should do.  It did cost me $300, but I would say, it was worth it.  Be careful, however.  You may not want to let your husband know that you visited a lawyer.  I did--specifically to get his attention (as he could not "hear" me otherwise), and it was tough.  We have decided to work on the marriage, but I know the facts and how I would survive financially without the marriage. 

Just because you see a lawyer does not mean it's the end.  It just means your are looking out for yourself and researching all possibilities.

I agree with this too...but

I agree with this too...but if you think there is a chance that any of this IS meds or something that, in a few weeks, can improve, then letting him know you went to see an attorney would probably be a very bad idea. It will just push him further away. If he is depressed, from stopping the meds cold turkey, it might make him feel worse. Do it for your own peace of mind, but I wouldn't tell him.


JS thanks for sharing your experience.  It is helpful to know that I would be able to have some of my questions answered at this point (by a lawyer).  I hope that you and your DH are able to make your marriage work.

Remember me saying something

Remember me saying something about the 'crash' he might have coming off all of those meds all of the sudden? You feel fine for a few days then all of the sudden it is like you smack the floor. A month to let him get everything out of his system and be functioning as a unmedicated human being isn't unreasonable, although I know living through the coldness and distance is horrible.

BUT...you and I are in the same boat...and this REALLY is making the ADHD symptoms worse. What you are feeling is what I was feeling when my husband was doing this a few weeks ago. You're desperate to fix him. You're desperate to know why he is doing this. You're unable to disconnect yourself from what he's feeling and because of this you're going at him thinking you're only trying to help. When my counselor said "this kind of behavior truly unravels someone with ADHD" I had one of the biggest A-ha moments ever. I always knew that the harder I tried to reach him during these 'dark times' the worse I made things...especially the worse I made myself feel because I consistently did NOT get the answers, responses, and reactions I was praying for. Never. I hated the feeling I felt when he was doing this SO much that it was the #1 reason I wanted to start going to counseling on my own. I cannot continue to let his ADHD moments drag me down and destroy me this way. The reality is that he has ADHD and he has a history of visiting 'the dark side' of ADHD...so if I am going to be able to be the spouse I need to be during those times, I have got to stop falling into the hole with him.

My gut is telling me that you need to give some serious thought to giving him some space, doing your best to just keep looking forward, try and let him sort all of this out on his own, and just wait and see what happens in a month. Maybe if he felt you were trying to understand what he might be going through it would help him feel less 'alone'. Speaking from my own experience, what he probably needs more than anything else is just for you to say "I am sorry for whatever it is you're going through, if there is anything I can do, please let me know, I love you" and for you to just stay strong and carry on with business as usual until he can get his meds straight.  There is something about your story that just really gives me reason to feel like he is really trying to get himself straightened out. I feel like he's probably very unhappy with himself and his outbursts...thus the reason he's made the decision to stop his meds. I have often read that the "I don't know" response is probably the most honest answer they are able to give sometimes. The one thing I would ask of him is that he keep the explosions under control. If you're going to be able to give him some space, then he needs to respect that you're giving him that concession and show you an equally kind gesture.

Just my thoughts...for what it is worth...(((HUGS)))

Sherri, I really appreciate

Sherri, I really appreciate your thoughts. I do agree the a month to function without meds is not unreasonable - what I do find unreasonable is the hell that his behavior is creating.  And honestly I am angry that because he went off his meds without letting anyone know about it and because he can't remember when it was that he stopped taking he has to wait a month from last week before they will address any meds.  Which by that time who knows where he will be at mentally. Honestly, he says that he went off the meds because he didn't like that way he felt taking them and blamed the outbursts on the meds - but he is still having outbursts and is still way off kilter (no schedule, no structure, ect.)  

As for him trying to work out his issues, I don't know - that is his business. He has made it very clear that it is his business, not mine.  So I only know what is happening by what I observe and the few things he does tell me.

You know, just once, just once it would be nice to hear from him - "I'm sorry that I have hurt you and the kids. I'm sorry that my behavior/actions are so out of control, I don't want to behave like that.  Or even just "I love you."  I don't see that happening/hasn't happened in a very, very long time.

Our family made the journey to church (again) tonight. It was so peaceful and calming.  I felt so relaxed and really enjoyed the service. The kids loved it - my oldest is asking to do confirmation classes and my youngest loved the music and children's church time! There is such a feeling of love, acceptance and belonging in church.  DH refused to join us for church.

I did take your advice and tonight during our meeting I offered him that I was sorry for whatever he is dealing with and I hope that it is resolved soon. He didn't reply.   I explained that I felt he was needing space from me and that I was willing/giving him his space to deal with whatever he felt he needed.  He didn't reply.  That was all that I could offer.

After thinking about it today-I agree that I am making things worse - I have put a call into the counselor asking if we should discontinue our daily meetings and see if that helps. Maybe that would help him feel less "pursued" or pressured. I think your right that trying to talk when they are in the deep ADD mode does make then come unraveled.  It maybe worth a try - it doesn't seem to be giving either one of us any pleasant results right now.

And yes, I can't fall into his black hole every time he visits the "darkside" of ADD.  I can give him space, I can overlook most of those outbursts, even the isolation - but I also need something back in return from him.  He is not (and hasn't been for a long time) putting forth effort to understand or ask what I need (not want, need) as a basic beginning to being a couple again.  I accept that for awhile I was part of that problem with how I reacted to him and drove him away - but that has all changed and has for quite sometime.  And I believe that since I have been giving so much to meeting his needs and working on changing my ways (and having to be careful to not slip back into them with his current regression) in addition to all of the other daily chores and stresses that I have to deal with as normal, I just feel completely taken for granted, abused, and tread upon.  Yes, it hurts to see him in a depression, but I honestly have separated his feelings from mine (I have empathy for his ADD issues) and understand the ADD stuff - the issue (I think) is that I need him to begin filling up my well - isn't that what we as a couple are supossed to do and expect from each other? To love, support and cherish each other? Aren't we as a couple to replenish each other so no one's well runs dry? Isn't that part of what makes you and your spouse have that special connection?  If your spouse can't or isn't able to meet those basic needs, then what?  I am a very loving, giving, and understanding person - I am his biggest cheerleader - but he believes that I am the enemy.  Which I don't get since the changes I have made have stayed in place and have been consistent/while he had made great progress/now has completely regressed. What I am so worried about is really how much longer can I live in a one-sided relationship?  I married to share my life with someone I love and who loves me back - Im not sure that is the case any longer.  I guess what Im trying to say, is that I need from him to be a partner with me in this marriage. How I am feeling now isn't really tied to how he is feeling right now - I think I am realizing that I need something from him. Something from him that is about us not his ADD or all the issues with that. Some sign that he is plugged in. Maybe I am being unrealistic? Unreasonable? I have been know to be both from time to time :) 

And your right, I have heard also that "I don't know" is probably the best/most true answer he is able to give.  To me that answer isn't an answer - but is the next thing I will need to learn to accept. Thank you for mentioning that in your post :)  

Thanks again for your insight, it always helps to get other thoughts, views and experiences.  But most of all, thanks for your support and hugs!

I cannot make it through a

I cannot make it through a church service without crying...I am so moved by everything..the music (ours plays contemporary/rock type Christian music that is SOO uplifting!), the sermons, everything. It has come to mean so much to me, and I know that as a family we need that right now. My husband does go with us, gladly and eagerly. For that, I am grateful. He even e-mails the preacher, has lunch with some of the guys from the church, and does the lighting and stuff for them every few weeks.

There is no question, hands down you are 100% correct....marriage is a partnership that MUST fulfill both partners if it is to be one that means anything and thrives. What I am meaning is that I would try, if I were you, to wait and see what happens with the meds...in a month. I mean I don't recommend you wait the rest of your life, by no means.  I know that we are each individuals with our own situations and if you're ready to go, then by all  means, you must do what is in the best interest of you. You've done the hard work and if you're feeling there is no chance for change, then do what you must. I have just always felt that he was incorrectly/overly medicated..just based on what you've told of your history and that maybe there is a chance he'll 'come around' once he's out from under the fog of the meds and/or back on the RIGHT meds. I say this too because the medication experience for me and my husband has been trying, at the very least. I saw the outbursts ...coming from a man who really never had anger issues. I had an epiphany the other day...now HE is the angry person in our marriage...how screwed up is that!? Anyway, back to my point...the medication changed my husband. I don't care if he denies it until the ends of the Earth..no matter how he wants to 'explain it' (it just gives him the 'focus to stand up for himself' is what he says)...it has changed him..and not in a good way. So, in a sense I am 'hanging in there' right along with you, hoping that something will give. We had a conversation the other day...I felt my blood pressure go up,  my cheeks were red, and I immediately I was stressed when he started 'going there' with his tone and attitude. We were not agreeing...and when I said "no..well, I don't see that the same way as you" he felt I was blowing him off instead of simply NOT AGREEING with him. I made it a point to stress that we just needed to agree to disagree and change the subject. When we got home I said to him "look at my face...my cheeks are red, my blood pressure is up, and I am stressed over our conversation..thinking it was going to be a fight" pointing out to him that we used to NEVER have a problem talking...we could talk for hours and not argue like we do now. He apologized, agreed we needed to try and both work on the issue (me in how I present myself, him in not being so defensive and assuming the worst..he literally has progressed to SWEARING he knows what I was meaning and thinking when I say something when he is completely WRONG) and he said he didn't want me to be upset and afraid to talk to him. I am trying to weed through "is it ADHD" "Is it medication" "is it him" crap...it is getting better, but only because (I feel) #1 he's been made aware of it, gently, by me and #2 because I am not reacting with anger and by falling into the trap with him.

This is not exactly what you're dealing with, but what you are dealing with, I have dealt with too...and failed quite miserably at the advice I am giving you. I am dealing with my co-dependency issues because the fact that he has ADHD can mean that he will 'go there' (dark place) again someday...and I am determined to be emotionally sound enough to handle it if, God forbid, he does. Only you can know if there is any hope left for you guys...that somehow, once he gets straightened out, he'll come around.

If I had a nickel for everytime I've uttered the phrase "I am not the enemy"...I would be rich!


Oh man the flushed cheeks and

Oh man the flushed cheeks and rising blood pressure is not a good sign for your health! I hope that you have that checked out - remember we need to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves completely.  I know that it was a result of the disagreement with your DH but it also shows that your blood pressure is already elevated - stress is high without question. 

Church is a wonderful experience for the entire family and individuals - I wish I could get me DH to attend with us - its the same old story one day its yes Ill go then the next no, I don't want to go and back and forth. Maybe, one day he will surprise us and attend.

I find it so frustrating that there doesn't seem to be a course or normal time frame for what Adders and non Adders can expect on this crazy journey - some sort of compass or way to measure where in the process we are at! You know like the Thanksgiving turkey has the pop up button to let you know when its done -  that be helpful to navigate through these issues? 

So the counselor said that it is fine to go ahead and see if DH wants to put our meetings on "hold" and then resume at a date in the future - I am hoping this may help him see that I am willing/trying to give him more space, but while still being there for him. Perhaps he will feel some of the pressure has been lifted and he may feel that he has more control over the situtation since this will be his decision to make.  The one caveot of course is that he needs to pick the date that we resume talks - since we still need to work on our issues.

Its funny that you mention that your DH said his med's give him the focus to stand up for himself. My DH went through a big phase about no longer being the Mr. Nice Guy and being walked all over and that counseling was showing him to assert himself.  This ran for about 4 weeks - this has quieted down alot, but I have found that he tends to hyperfocus on issues where he wants to be assertive (he feels that he has been wronged) in, but often times the issues that he chooses to take a stand on he is either in the wrong or he is making an issue where there isn't one. Again this issue has improved over time - I hope you find the same with your DH.

Thank you for sharing your experience with me - as you said you have been here before - I sincerely thank you for your sage advice. 

I'm gonna hang in there a bit longer (and yes, I agree that I feel like you and I are in the same type of situation (our DH's sure sound a lot alike) - I trust your judgement and experience with this and I am going with your feelings about his meds making him act so poorly.  I think that he has been off meds since mid Dec 10 - so yes, this maybe that crash period you had mentioned earlier.  I do my best to work at being more forgiving, understanding and not become so frustrated when he falls into that black hole.

Also that whole talking over and him KNOWING what you are going to say before you finish talking - this was a big issue with us.  It is very difficult for my DH to let me talk without him interupting me or trying to talk over me to make his point (doesn't matter if I actually agree with him or not - he's gonna make his point again and again). Prior to ADD running wild, we were able to have conversations without this type of issue. So I talk it as a sign that the ADD is not contained.  This is one issue that our counselor has made clear is that neither one of us can interupt the other when they are speaking - one of us needs to work harder at this. Again, I recognize this as and ADD issue (add the implusivity to it) to work on. Thankfully, most of the time when he begins to talk over me I will stop talking and wait until he has finished speaking and then I say to him "please let me finish what I was saying and then you will have your turn to speak and I will give you my full attention."  Sometimes I remind him that talking over me is disrespectful, please stop.  I hope that you DH will begin to listen to you speak again.

Thanks for you support ((HUGS))